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PROJECT TOPIC: EMERGING OPPORTUNITIES FOR NGO-BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS: CREATING BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS FOR IGBO WOMEN FORUM IN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

There is a growing recognition that no single sector can address the scale of sustainability challenge the world faces, making the value of cross-sector collaboration inevitable. On this premise, this thesis aimed to find out if there are companies and businesses in Nigeria with whom Igbo Women Forum could form partnership and to explore what the organization could do in order to be fit for such collaboration. By using the case study method of qualitative research and through the SWOT Analysis of Igbo Women’s Forum, the researcher had been able to identify three companies with whom Igbo Women Forum could partner with, and their responses had provided a general overview into what Businesses would expect from a potential NGO partner. Furthermore, the study recommended practical suggestions on how Igbo Women Forum and other NGOs can be fit for business partnership and overcome tensions that invariably lie beneath the surface of successful collaborations.

 

The study highlighted the key drivers bringing NGOs and Businesses together and how this relationship can provide companies with new challenges, fresh ideas, added credibility and better reach into communities, customers and government. Finally the study also revealed the various forms which partnership can take and the values which successful collaboration can bring.

 

There e case companies we re interviewed in the study, and they related how they had all experienced significant economic value creation as a result of their collaborations with non-profit organizations. And how the skills, resources and capacities of these non-profits had enhanced their competitiveness and increase their market share. The basis for these partnerships were critically examined and thoroughly analyzed in the light of how Igbo women forum can enter and benefit from similar kind of successful collaborations.

 

This thesis had revealed that the need for socio-economic development and the changing societal interests, environmental pressures and community demands are the key factors driving NGO and business partnerships. And the study also showed that a cross-sector partnership is sustained when it is built on trust, transparency, openness and honesty.

 

1. Background

 

With the potentials for the private sector to solve many of the world's toughest problems, we still realize, that in spite of their great innovations and proven expertise, companies do not always redefine productivity in the value chain , neither do they singularly reconceived products and markets, nor even build their enabling environment alone. (Porter 2004, 75), quite very often, they need collaborations with local partners in their operating environment to fill in relationships, knowledge, and resource gaps. (Porter 2012, 53)

 

In recent years, a new form of establishing and advancing this level of partnership has emerged, and it is referred to as Business-NGO collaborations, (Werther & Chandler 2010, 46), the value of this sort of relationship goes beyond the traditional form of corporate philanthropy. It is built on an increasing focus on the possibilities of strategic relationship, yielding a mutually benefitting alliance, while combining social, environmental and economic value creation. (Lin-Hi Nick 2008, 32)

 

The increasing search for new resources and more effective organizational approaches is bringing NGOs and corporations together (Hopkins 2008, 65). “These alliances are also emerging as businesses increasingly reexamine their traditional philanthropic practices and seek new strategies of engagement with their local communities that will have greater corporate relevance and higher social impact”. (Lorenzen 2012, 4)

 

 

1.1Structure of study

The primary objective of this study is to analyze how to find business partners for Igbo Women Forum in Nigeria and to investigate how this partnership can be sustained. Therefore, this study begins by examining the different drivers for creating Business-NGO partnership. And in doing this, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility was studied as a primary factor driving partnership between businesses and NGOs. Wityh respect to this, CSR is defined and its importance and drivers are covered as they relate to the context of developing countries. Next, Resource dependence theory is studied, and its principles and assumptions are analyzed together with its connection with partnership building. Resource dependence theory is necessary as the resources within a company’s host communities are fundamental to the success of its operations. This is placed after the section on Corporate Social Responsibility as it is the second most important theoretical area of this study. Then, the concept of organizational trusts is studied. What it means, why it matters, how it can be built and sustained and how it impacts on how NGO and businesses can form an enduring relationship were also analyzed. After the main theories are discussed, Igbo Women Forum is then empirically examined using SWOT method of analysis.

1. Background  

 

With the potentials for the private sector to solve many of the world's toughest problems, we still realize, that in spite of their great innovations and proven expertise, companies do not always redefine productivity in the value chain , neither do they singularly reconceived products and markets, nor even build their enabling environment alone. (Porter 2004, 75), quite very often, they need collaborations with local partners in their operating environment to fill in relationships, knowledge, and resource gaps. (Porter 2012, 53)

 

In recent years, a new form of establishing and advancing this level of partnership has emerged, and it is referred to as Business-NGO collaborations, (Werther & Chandler 2010, 46), the value of this sort of relationship goes beyond the traditional form of corporate philanthropy. It is built on an increasing focus on the possibilities of strategic relationship, yielding a mutually benefitting alliance, while combining social, environmental and economic value creation. (Lin-Hi Nick 2008, 32)

 

The increasing search for new resources and more effective organizational approaches is bringing NGOs and corporations together (Hopkins 2008, 65). “These alliances are also emerging as businesses increasingly reexamine their traditional philanthropic practices and seek new strategies of engagement with their local communities that will have greater corporate relevance and higher social impact”. (Lorenzen 2012, 4)

 

 

1.1Structure of study

The primary objective of this study is to analyze how to find business partners for Igbo Women Forum in Nigeria and to investigate how this partnership can be sustained. Therefore, this study begins by examining the different drivers for creating Business-NGO partnership. And in doing this, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility was studied as a primary factor driving partnership between businesses and NGOs. Wityh respect to this, CSR is defined and its importance and drivers are covered as they relate to the context of developing countries. Next, Resource dependence theory is studied, and its principles and assumptions are analyzed together with its connection with partnership building. Resource dependence theory is necessary as the resources within a company’s host communities are fundamental to the success of its operations. This is placed after the section on Corporate Social Responsibility as it is the second most important theoretical area of this study. Then, the concept of organizational trusts is studied. What it means, why it matters, how it can be built and sustained and how it impacts on how NGO and businesses can form an enduring relationship were also analyzed. After the main theories are discussed, Igbo Women Forum is then empirically examined using SWOT method of analysis.


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